Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A little perspective

I got this through an e-mail list I belong to and I thought it was really good. It's by Carole Lee Sussman of's hockey media section.
I'm a little amused at all of the End of an Era-themed articles in the papers this week -- just what Era is Ending? Are the Wings suddenly going to go back to the way things were in 1994 when nobody wanted to play the sort of defense that wins playoff rounds? Are they going to go back to 1985 when they were Stevie Wonder and the Oy Veys, one brilliant kid and a bunch of guys no other team wanted, all combined for a toxic combination -- the Dead Wings? The Wings have been preparing for the post Big Name Player period all along. Go look at the roster. Zetterberg. Fischer. Datsyuk. Kronwall. Hudler. Williams. Even Dandenault. No, there are no Yzermans on that list, but you *know* those players don't come around a franchise every day -- not even every generation. Go look at that list and remember what a roster of with names like Lapointe, McCarty, Draper, and Lidstrom looked like ten years ago. What the Wings have is a core. A solid core. There will be players added to it, players subtracted, but in the end, that's a half-dozen guys who earned their stripes playing with some of the best players ever, who shared a locker room -- and for some, a Stanley Cup -- with Hall of Famers. The Wings are not about to turn into the Columbus Blue Jackets. Or the New York Rangers. Or the Calgary Flames, for that matter. They are not about to turn into a faceless group where even the home fans need a scorecard to figure out who's who. They are not about to miss the playoffs for five, six years in a row. This team, win or lose, was not built to last. With an average age of 32, it wasn't going to go on forever like this. Is it the end of an era? No. It's the natural way of things and the changes that come will be similarly organic.


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